TONY Blair's majority was slashed by more than half last night as Labour backbenchers rebelled against plans for a national system of ID cards.
Despite fresh concessions from Home Secretary Charles Clarke, a succession of Labour MPs lined up with the Opposition to condemn the proposals as a dangerous step towards a 'Big Brother' government.
The rebellion will give peers the green light to launch a concerted drive to rewrite the Bill when it reaches the Lords.
The ID cards Bill finally cleared the Commons last night by 309 votes to 284, with the Government's majority cut from 66 to just 25. Mr Clarke had tried to buy off Labour rebels by promising the new ID database would not hold any more information than a passport does at the moment.
But 24 Labour MPs rebelled, including former ministers Clare Short, Kate Hoey and Mark Fisher. It was a worse result for the Government than the vote on ID cards in June, when Mr Blair's majority was cut to 31.
Woman who put cat in washing machine jailed
A MOTHER who killed her family cat by putting it in a washing machine was jailed for six weeks yesterday.
Magistrates heard that Holly Thacker, 34, put Fluffy in the machine on a boiling wash and then dumped the black cat's body in her bin.
The RSPCA was alerted after she told her ex-husband what she had done in front of her horrified daughters, then aged 15 and five. She told him: 'The cat scratched me so I put it in the washing machine. …